A north-east charity is providing much-needed emotional support for women who are in hospital by themselves during the pandemic.
Miss (Miscarriage Information Support Service) was set up by Abi Clarke after she had a miscarriage and was left unsure of where to find advice.
The organisation is now marking its fourth anniversary, having grown in recent years to offer multiple groups and a number of other services.
Its volunteers staff a dedicated helpline for people requiring someone to talk to, and supply memory boxes and comfort packs to others experiencing pregnancy loss.
Mrs Clarke, its founder and chairwoman, said: “Over the last year it’s been quite a challenge as we’ve had to move all our groups and one-to-one sessions online.
“But we’ve been able to provide our services at a time where it’s even harder for individuals going through a loss.
“They’re in hospital on their own and their partner could be in the car waiting outside, or further away like working offshore.
“So it’s important we can provide more of a service for them.”
She added: “People have messaged us when they’re in hospital, so we’ve been able to speak to them and help them to not feel so alone.
“Everyone’s mental health has really been impacted since Covid started – even if it’s just not being able to give someone a hug, or go into their house to talk about what has happened and share these feelings and emotions.
“We’re not able to do that, or even meet up for a meal or a coffee, so people are feeling the impact even more.
“I think having this support, even if it’s only online, has been a really big help for some of our members.”
The group became a registered charity in 2019, and has hosted a number of fundraising events and initiatives to spread awareness.
Later this month it will host what is believed to be the north-east’s first fertility nutrition event online, featuring a number of expert speakers from across the country.
Mrs Clarke added: “Miss has definitely grown and expanded in so many ways.
“It’s been a lot quicker than I planned, but all in a positive way – and I have to say thank you to all our supporters and members for that.”